Taps Bar, Watson Street. (c) citylife.
Taps Bar and Epernay (a champagne bar upstairs) are an unusual addition to the drinking scene in Manchester city centre. Sat underneath the Great Northern complex and facing Bar 38 they have deliberately set out for a particular type of customer and seemingly get it. Taps is really a restaurant, but it's been included due the novelty of being able to pour your own beer at your table. Yep, you read that right - so if you've never poured a lager from the barrel before you might want to pass the glass to any ex-barmen or barmaids in your group (or put up with a glass of froth). On arrival you are shown to your table, which has two or four different types of lagers available depending on your party size.
Taps taps, 2010. (c) Pubs of Manchester.
Thankfully, UK-brewed cooking lager was conspicuous by its absence and for us it was either Amstel (£3.30 a continental pint i.e. 500 ml) or Vedett Blonde (£3.70) both of which were very pleasant. An LCD screen on your table indicates how much you have used and is charged at 1/10th of a pint a time, so that should you not like one or the other, you don't have to have a full pint to find out! Not surprisingly, there is no real ale and it's not the cheapest of experiences but it's fine for a one off every now and again, with the surroundings and decor easy on the eye, and the food looked good (although we didn't sample).
Taps, inside. (c) tabletap.